The Heartbreaking Truth About Settling For Being Their Friend When You’ll Always Want Something More

The Heartbreaking Truth About Settling For Being Their Friend When You'll Always Want Something More
Matthew Dix

Talaga yatang wala nang pag-asa, upang ako’y iyong ibigin pa.

This is the first line of one of my favorite Filipino songs. In English, it translates to, “Maybe there really is no chance for you to love me.”

You and I met in high school. Admittedly, those weren’t the best of times for me in terms of academics and social standing. While other people would say high school was the best time of their lives, I’d say high school me was absolute shit.

But you gave me a reason to appreciate my mediocre high school life.

Since the first time we spoke, I knew I wanted you in my life. Eventually I started pursuing you using what little knowledge I had of courtship. And of course, I failed. And thank heavens I failed then. High school me was not someone you’d want to bring home to your parents.

So I settled for being your “best friend.” And as best friend, I never left you. You had quite a few people who came and left. But I stayed. I enjoyed being the one you bitched to. I liked the idea that someone trusted me enough to open up her heart and home to me. You even introduced me to your parents, who treated me well, and whom I respect and love like they are family.

Through all that time, however, I held out hope that maybe one day, you’ll come around and love me like I love you. Maybe if I grew up enough, if I waited some more, I’d finally be re-introduced to your parents as your boyfriend. And then we could start working on our future as a couple, while also achieving our life goals individually.

But then he came back.

And it’s been three years since you had him back in your life. Based on your pictures, he’s the one building the future with you that I wanted to build. He’s the one your parents have on the family group chat. He’s the one you love.

Which of course leaves me out in the cold.

But that’s my fault. I chose to wait. You didn’t tell me to wait. I just thought that maybe, just maybe, a window would open for me. We’re adults now, and I’d like to believe I’ve grown up enough. And yet you didn’t choose me. And as for that window? What window? Turns out I was sitting in the middle of nowhere.

Recently you told me that you cannot see yourself being with me for the rest of your life because I’m exhausting to be with. Of course you were kind enough to not say it that way, but that’s exactly what it means. You were afraid of the possible future of having to endure me being nitpicky and pedantic. You said I deserved somebody who could keep up with my ramblings and unsolicited worldviews.

I never asked you to keep up with me. All I asked was for you to love me back. Because I feel nothing but love for you. I never felt that you were less intelligent, because you have skills I have yet to master. I am a scientist. You’re not. But that does not make me more intelligent than you. It just makes us different. And that’s not a bad thing. But apparently, I was too overbearing for you to handle. Intimidating, even.

Now I sit here in the silence of my regret. I could have treated you better. I could have listened more and spoken less. I could have hugged you more, and made the most of the times when I had your hands in mine.

As I write this, it is the second of October. 10 years ago today, we first held hands. Cheesy, yes, but it’s my happiest memory of high school. I sit here with my thoughts running through all our happy times, our petty fights, our romantic moments. All the times when I asked the universe to please lead us into each other’s arms.

The universe, apparently, had other plans. So I guess this is the end.

I’d still be your friend. If you do marry that guy, I’d show up in my very best. I’d ask my parents to lend me the car so I could drive myself to your wedding. I’ll give my very best for you even then.

In the meantime, I will get myself ready for the day when your father gives you away to that guy.

Goodbye and thank you. TC mark

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